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Don't smoke m3th!

Songs Explained by Ozma

Started by imatreeandurnot, June 23, 2006, 04:01:48 pm

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Written in 2000. Archived from the old ozma site for future generations.

Rock and Roll Part Three

shootingstars - "there are a lot of things you could probably get out of this song. on the surface, a song with a story line about a soldier come back from war who finds that his lover has left him. the chorus 'every night i see a shooting star and wonder if it's landing where you are,' deals somewhat with memories, looking for people you miss. the sad thing is that the soldier, while in battle, was probably dreaming of his lover every night (while she was obviously not dreaming of him). it's also possible that his memory of her helped him to make it through his difficult circumstances. so again, i notice that the things that improve you also hurt you. 'everytime i take a look around, i find myself looking down, to a place that looking much more round...' for me it's about trying to look at yoursef objectively and noticing that you aren't seeing the world that is, but rather, a world you dream about living in." - ryen

natalie portman - "this song is just about a jewish girl who uses a stage name." - daniel

the ups and downs - "as i said before it's first performance ever, at the el rey... 'this is a song about being pathetic.' i'm sure we all are at least twice in our lives... and relationships seem to be the main cause. the lyrics are in story form... dan, jose, and i wrote the lyrics together... and it was fun to take the worst of our experiences and put them in one condensed worst-case-scenario." - ryen
"i wanted to write a song called "the ups and downs" even before i joined the band, because so many phrases end in either up or down. jerry seinfeld that did a comedy bit about this, about how when you're a kid everything important in your life is 'up,' like grow up, stay up, eat up, shut up... and everything negative to a kid is down: sit down, turn it down, calm down..." - daniel

if i only had a heart - "my mom always used to say 'your room... looks like it's been hit by a tornado.' also, a girl i had it pretty bad for got the role of tin man in her high school play, senior year. also, one of the many ozma songs with titles from t-shirts i own." - daniel

baseball - "some of my fondest childhood memories are of little league and of days with dad at chavez ravine watching fernando and mike scioscia play. a lot of that nostalgia got compressed into a love song somehow." - daniel

in search of 1988 - "i was thrift-store-shopping in 9th grade with my dad and my friend jessica painter. jess and i found a blue shirt which read, in gaudy white writing, 'in search of 1988.' we fought over it, and she ended up with it. december of 1998, jess returned home from SFSU and gave me the shirt as a christmas gift. i got all sappy thinking about the easier times, early high school, goofing off with jess. then i thought about the year shown on the shirt, 1988, and got even sappier thinking about how much easier things were when i was 7. the song, for the most part, is very uptempo. then in the middle, there's an extended breakdown with the line 'i want to make a motion to stop the commotion.' basically about just chilling out and remembering how to have fun." - daniel

Songs Of Inaudible Trucks And Cars

lorraine - "up watching the superstation late at night, seeing lorraine baines mcfly hit on her own son while a really great guy with a really good uppercut is trying to tell her he's in love with her but his words are just coming out jumbled. i think the classic romantic ideal is longing for a girl you don't have, who won't give you the time of day, and still believing it's possible. i wrote like 10 stupid verses to this song before i picked the two i hated least." - daniel

just tell me when - "touches on issues of rejection, separation, and memories. 'i saw you today, you blew my mind away, and drove the car right off of the cliff.' i didn't know it when i wrote it, but i've come to find out that the people that have the power to make you feel wonderful, can also make you want to drive off a cliff." - ryen
"like when your mom's pouring me a glass of milk, but doesn't know how much i really want. 'just tell me when.'" - daniel

rain of the golden gorilla - "the main keyboard melody in this song is lifted from the javanese gamelan piece 'hudan mas,' which translates as 'golden rain.' i went to a 4 week residential arts program one summer and fell pretty bad for a girl who somehow ended up with the gorilla nickname. she always sat in front of me in the gamelan orchestra. the song basically recounts that period in my life." - daniel

los angeles - "last new year's, i started writing parts to los angeles... i started writing the night i got back from my trip to new york, where most of the preparation thoughtwise for ther song took place. of course, i didn't have a guitar on my trip, so as soon as i got back, i started singing about what i had spent the whole trip thinking about and being depressed about... which is too much to go into." - ryen
"garth brooks gets tired of his town, leaves for tokyo, discovers rich oriental harmony." - daniel

if my amp had wheels - "la salle high school, suburban pasadena. early 1996. a long while ago, before the song was written, ryen was lifting up an old heavy gallien krueger amp that i borrowed from my neighbor that we used for vocals at the time. as ryen was carrying the enormous 4-ton amp, he mentioned that one day he wants to write a song entitled 'if my amp had wheels,' from the frustration of transporting the heavy non-wheeled amp. he also mentioned that he wanted to write a song called 'momma's blue jeans,' for what reason i do not know, maybe someday we'll write a song called momma's blue jeans. who knows? months later as ryen and i were bored at our lunch break, he turns to me and says, 'lets start writing if my amp had wheels.' so i came up with the bass line (A---F#), singing it barbershop style, and ryen came up with the main verse melody over the bassline. the only ozma song written without real music instruments. dan had now joined the group and put in some valuable contributions to the song. in the chorus, we use the name sochi (really spelled 'xochitl'), after a girl that both ryen and i knew - we liked her name so decided to add it to the song. this was also the first ozma song to include keyboards. if my amp had wheels to me is the first real ozma song because it was written with our new bassist dan, and thematically it is a rejoicing, happy song because our band was now finally complete, with the addition of dan, and lyrically that happiness isnt expressed - but i believe it is present in the melody, and in the music." - jose

iceland - "you have to part with someone you love, and your only communications with them are through a keyboard ." - daniel

Early Songs

lately - "one of the first ozma songs i wrote lyrics to. i was very young, so the lyrics are innocent. i had made a stupid move in a relationship with a female friend of mine and i was really depressed about it." - daniel

so down - "ryen's sweltering house in the summer of 1995. the second and shortest ozma song ever written - which was still in the pre-dan era. at the time ryen and i were heavily influenced by lush, the smiths, morrissey, and suede and i believe it's evident in the strumming and melody on the verses. though the line "english speaking immigrants just get in my way," has offended people in the past, it shouldn't, because that was a lyric written by me, an english speaking immigrant... it's just like in rap songs when they use the 'n' word. no harm no foul. anyway, it was the first song written as a 3 (ryen, pat, and i) piece and quite an elaborate change of style from stuck in the ground, so down is a fun and simple song with a great condescending chorus (oh nothing can stop me now, i'm feeling so down). this one not dark at all and really our first experience writing a melody." - jose

stuck in the ground - "rainy winter day at my house, 1994. the last 'paper or plastic' song and the first ozma song (paper or plastic being a band comprised of ryen on guitar, pat on drums, me on rhythm guitar and matt herman on bass and lead vocals - dan had not joined up with the group at this time). i wrote the music and ryen wrote the lyrics, and we showed the song to the lead singer (herman) and he didn't like it - so we kicked him out of the band (of course there were other reasons)! this is the darkest ozma song to date because it was written in a weird time, sort of a transition stage, when we felt that paper or plastic was going nowhere (hence 'stuck in the ground') and our relationship with our lead singer at the time wasn't going well, and somehow i feel that we purposely made this song so dark and dissonant, to become a rebellion song to the type of happy-go-snappy music we were playing in paper or plastic. however our relationship w/herman today is great and he is a now great friend/fan of ozma." - jose

trucks and cars - "nightime, pat's house in '94 in the winter. a band called weezer is now in all of our cd players at this time and has influenced the music in this song heavily - more experimenting less on RIFFY material and more on melody and simplicity - coming to the conclusion that power chords are okay. a lot of the lyrics were lifted from a tiny coffee table book entitled 'mother's quotations' we found in pat's house, i hope we don't get sued. still in the pre-dan era." - jose